We have confirmed that all states have agreed that agriculture and suppliers of essential services to agriculture will be categorised as essential services.

As we all work together during these challening times, NHIA have gathered some important information concerning our industry. 

The situation we're facing as an industry is unprecedented and changing at a pace we are working to keep up with.  This page will be updated as information becomes available.

When checking back please refresh your browser to ensure you are seeing the most recent updates.


NHIA recommends that members adopt the following guidelines in client interactions and during farm, supplier and client visits. Click here for the recommendations.


Australian Dairy Farmers share the governments advice on the stimulus package. Link Here.




If you are looking to get technicians in from overseas make sure they have applied for their visa.

If their visa is close to expiry they can call the department to see if their application can be rushed.

Note: Our industry is seeking technicians for their critical skills. 

The overseas technician would then need to apply here:


In the form they would tick a compelling and compassionate reason to travel

To support their application they would also have to submit with this application the following:

  • Contract
  • Detailed letter from Employer stating why they are critical and that you operate an Essential Service Business (this document is crucial to the process and requires a detailed explanation)
  • History or proof of prior employment if they have worked in Australia before

The Department confirmed the easiest to get in are people from New Zealand but anyone can apply.

Note: they will need to quarantine on arrival for 14 days and probably quarantine back home as well. Please see government direction note on quarnatine.

As these rules are continuously changing monitor the progress of the application to see what else may be required. 

Please let the NHIA office know if you are applying so we can assist in the process.

Department of Home Affairs Contact Number 1300 853 773


Operate as an Essential Service Provider | Provider of Critical Skills
- To Continue Business in South Australia 

If you are travelling into South Australia, by road or via the Adelaide airport, you need to complete the cross border pre-approval form at least 72 hours prior to your arrival.

The process will speed up the border crossing process and provide certainty for you about any restrictions that may apply before reaching the border.  Start your online application here:


Essential traveller status

Once your application has been processed you will receive an email with:

  1. A pre-approval receipt number that you will need to take with you to the border.
  2. An assessment with ‘single status’ or ‘ongoing status’ approval to determine whether you are:
  • able to travel without restriction (including people arriving directly from NT, QLD, TAS and WA)
  • an essential traveller, with or without self-quarantine restrictions
  • required to self-quarantine on arrival for 14 days.

If you are unable to complete the online application you can still proceed to the border and a police officer will assist.  The border process will be significantly faster if your details have been entered before you arrive and an assessment has been made.  


At the border

There are checkpoints at roads leading into South Australia from New South Wales and Victoria, and at Adelaide airport.

No travellers will be turned away. All people travelling to South Australia can enter, it is only the circumstances and restrictions applying to the traveller that differ.

At the South Australian checkpoint you will need photo id and if you:

  • already have an essential traveller status under the cross border community member category provide the police officer with your existing approval notice, or
  • already have your online pre-approval receipt number provide this to the police officer, or
  • have completed the online pre-approval form but not received your pre-approval receipt number tell the police officer so that they can verify your online form and issue you with an ‘interim status’ assessment, or
  • haven’t filled out the online form the police officer will complete the online form with you and issue you with an ‘interim status’ assessment.

All traveller arrivals will be registered on police systems to allow compliance checking of self-quarantine requirements if required.


Extra Documents

Word document for employee crossing the border:     (download here)    
Schedule 2 to support letter and refer to 2(1)    (download here).
Records of close contact form       (download here)    
The essential traveller must record the time and location of the contact, as well as the name and contact details of each other person (if known). These records must be kept for 28 days after the initial 14-day recording period.


- To Continue Business in QLD

Stage 3 eased restrictions come into effect at 12 noon on Friday 3rd July 2020 for Queensland residents.

Borders set to open from 10 July 2020, (except to Victorians)

Any person from New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory may enter Queensland subject to completing and signing a border declaration.

 All States can still apply for an agribusiness entry pass including Victoria

Step One:            For travel into QLD you will need to apply for a entry pass on link below. You must have a contract or letter of employment to provide as evidence with the application. Follow the steps on the link below. You will have to declare if you been to a COVID hot spot.


Step Two:            After Pass is granted get paperwork (a border pass doesn’t mean you are guaranteed entry without supporting documents).

Obtain paperwork from the business in QLD requesting the service who is declaring the person is essential as no one else can fill the role.


The business requesting you should also supply a health plan to minimise the spread of COVID-19. Click here for the QLD government template but a QLD business may already have an existing plan in place they can give you.


If the person has been travelling around before entry to QLD have a schedule of where they have been over the last 14 days (click here for the 14 Day Close Contact form), it is generic so please make changes, put logo, etc)


Entry will be dependant on the Officer at the border so ensure you have as much documentation as possible.




- To Continue Business in Tasmania

The Tasmanian Government has currently set a date of Friday 24 July for changes to be made to current border restrictions. However if the public health advice at that time, or in the immediate lead up to that date is that it is not safe to open, border restrictions will remain in place.

Steps to enter Tasmania

You are required to apply as being an essential services provider of “Specialist skills critical to maintaining key industries or businesses.    This will allow an exemption from quarantine.

Essential Travellers that meet strict criteria will be exempt from the 14 day quarantine requirement but must still comply with listed  public health conditions   .
Any specialists required for industry or business continuity and maintenance of competitive operations where the appropriate skills are not available in Tasmania, where the service is time-critical and where the provision of the service requires that the person be physically present in Tasmania”.

- To Continue Business in Western Australia

Strict border controls are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. You cannot enter Western Australia without an exemption. Our industry falls under 'specialist skills not available in WA'. Full details 'people with specialist skills not available in WA, required for industry or business continuity or involved in time-sensitive critical maintenance or repair of critical infrastructure; or specialist skills in agriculture, food production or primary industry who need to be present in Western Australia'.

Step One: The quickest and simplest way to apply for an exemption is via the G2G PASS online form. Please submit your application at least 3 days prior to travel. By applying online, you can track your application status and will receive an email with the outcome of your application.

Alternatively, you can submit a paper-based exemption application form with supporting documentation.

It is recommended to carry addtional paperwork from the business requiring your service. 

NHIA Member Services Update during COVID-19:

  • Supply of Ln2: BOC has implemented new cleaning procedures on cylinders but there will be no changes to bulk deliveries. In order to limit health risks for NHIA members and their drivers, BOC will be enforcing appropriate social distancing protocols upon delivery and pick up.
  • Fuel cards: These can be used in the usual way with no interruption to service.
  • Methylated Spirits: NHIA understands that supply will continue in the usual way but orders may experience a short delay.
  • Milk Testing Samples: At this stage NHIA has been advised that there will be no change to the way reference samples are dealt with.
  • Vehicle Hire: Intrastate vehicle hire is unaffected. We expect that restrictions will be put in place for interstate vehicle hire i.e. where a vehicle is hired in one state and crosses a state border during the hire period.
  • NHIA materials: AI Manuals | Docket Books | Wallcharts -These can be ordered as usual through NHIA will be delivered in the usual way.

Other Links:

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Are your staff trained to recoginise what are the signs of the virus and how to minimise its spread . Short online training tool available. Click here.

National Coronavirus Helpline Phone Number: 1800 020 080.  The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.